Healthy Turkey Bolognese – Inspired by Ina Garten

Healthy Turkey Bolognese 1



You may wonder what makes my recipe for Healthy Turkey Bolognese, inspired by Ina Garten, healthy. You can be sure that Ina’s recipe is delicious, but not only do I want to eat something delicious, I want something that’s healthy too! In this case, the cream and the beef in Ina’s original recipe had to go, as they both have a lot of saturated fat. Surely, there will be those who take a deep breath of relief to know I did not eliminate the parmesan cheese, but I did reduce it by half, again to reduce the amount of saturated fat. And by using flake parmesan cheese you can fool yourself into using less cheese, because just 5 or 6 beautiful flakes is about a teaspoon of cheese, or about 2.5% of your daily value of saturated fat (Foodfacts). I also like my Bolognese sauce a bit more on the saucy side, so this recipe has more sauce than Ina’s.

And by the way, this is Ina Garten First Friday of the month, when I and a group of bloggers come together to cook and blog about one of her recipes, or create a dish that is inspired by one of hers. This week we are cooking up a main dish and you can see what other bloggers have done today by clicking on the links below the recipe.


Servings: 8                 Prep Time: 25 min                  Cook Time: 30 to 40 minutes



¾ pound ground turkey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 medium celery stick, finely chopped

4 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 ounces button mushrooms, chopped

½ ounce porcini mushrooms

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

1-14 ounce can tomatoes, (San Marzano if possible)

¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese

1 pound dried pasta or your choice, (I used Gigli, which looks something

like a trumpet mushroom)



1. In a medium bowl, mix the turkey with ½ of the chopped parsley and 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to marinate while you prep the other ingredients.

2. Bring 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot, and then add the dried mushrooms. Set the pot off to the side and let the mushrooms soak until they are tender.

3. Heat two tablespoons olive oil and begin to sauté the celery and carrots together until they are somewhat tender.

4.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are transparent.

5. Add the turkey and let it brown with the vegetables. Add the chopped button mushrooms when the turkey is no longer raw. Add the red wine.

6. Remove the softened porcini mushrooms from the liquid, and save the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms in water, and then chop the mushrooms and add them to the turkey. Carefully add ½ cup of the remaining liquid to the turkey. Do not use all of it because there will likely be grains of sand from the mushrooms at the bottom of the pot.

7. Lightly blend the tomatoes with the tomato paste in a food processor, or a blender to break up the tomatoes, and then this to the turkey along with the oregano, chopped basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.

8. Cook the mixture until the sauce has thickened, about 30-40 minutes. Check the seasonings and add more salt if necessary. Cook the pasta during the last 10 minutes the sauce is thickening. When the pasta is done, strain it, place it in a large bowl, and mix about 1/3 of the sauce with it. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and garnish with the parmesan flakes and minced parsley.


Visit these other great cooks to see what they have dished up!

Alyce –@,  Barbara –,

Nancy –, Veronica –,

Chaya –, Ansh –,

Martha from,  Bhavna –,

B. from, Ria –,

Linda – There and Back Again, Peggy –

Linda –,

 This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysFull Plate ThursdayFoodie FridayThriving on Thursdays and Pin Junkie

Healthy Turkey Bolognese - Inspired by Ina Garten

Healthy Turkey Bolognese – Inspired by Ina Garten


Turkey Pâté with Mushrooms and Pistachios


Turkey Pâté with Mushrooms and Pistachios

Turkey Pâté with Mushrooms and Pistachios


Hi again. The 38 power foods blog group that I am a part of has been writing and cooking each week about a particular food from 38 Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, put out by the editor’s at Martha Stewart’s Healthy Living Magazine. Pistachios are the 31st of the foods listed in the book and I’ve been waiting anxiously to get to them! Pistachio shells are light beige in color and the nut is a beautiful shade of green that comes from chlorophyll. They can lend a dramatic flare to food, especially when they are sprinkled in foods of opposite colors, like red bell peppers, or dark chocolate; and the buttery flavor can keep you going back for more, and more. Eating nuts is a good healthy eating habit to get into, if you haven’t discovered them already. Pistachios have monounsaturated fats, which like olive oil can help lower cholesterol.

I like pâté on rare occasions, and I’m not a big meat eater, so I developed this recipe for turkey pâté with mushrooms and pistachios. Pâté can be served hot or cold, and I like it both ways, but I prefer it hot out of the oven served with my favorite no-knead whole wheat bread.


Servings: 18 (1/2-inch slices)             Prep Time:  30              Baking Time: 50 to 60 minutes



1-¼ pounds ground turkey

½ medium large onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

¼ cup olive oil

4 ounces fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brandy

1-1/2 tablespoons Tamari soy

1 egg

½ cup whole wheat bread

1/3 cup milk, (your preference, soy, almond, or dairy)

½ cup pistachios



1. Pre-line an oiled 9×5 inch pan with parchment paper cut 3-1/2 inches wide by 16 inches long. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

2. Soak ½ cup chopped whole wheat bread crumbs in milk, about 1/3 to ½  cup.

3. Using an 8-inch pan, begin to sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil.

4. While you wait for the onion to turn translucent, roughly chop the mushrooms and then process them until the mixture looks like sand. (Do not over process! You don’t want mush.)

5. Add the minced garlic to the onions and continue cooking until the onions are translucent, and then add the mushroom mixture and cook until all liquid is absorbed and the mixture is dry. Let it cool 10 minutes.

6. Squeeze the milk out of the bread crumbs and place the crumbs in the food processor along with the mushrooms, sage, salt, brandy, Tamari soy, and the egg. Process until it is smooth. Place the mixture in a bowl and stir in the pistachios by hand. Spread this mixture into the 9×5 bread pan.

7. Put the bread pan in a 9×13 inch pan and fill the 9×13 inch pan with 7 cups of boiling water. Bake until the temperature of the turkey reaches 165°, about 50 to 60 minutes.  Allow it to cool 10 minutes, and then turn the pan over onto a cutting board or platter for slicing.

Serve with cranberry sauce or mustard.




Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at) for details.



Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living,  Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday  and the Pennywise Platter

Recipe: Swedish Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Swedish Meatballs

Turkey Swedish Meatballs


My mother recently popped in for a short visit and while she was visiting she offered to make dinner one night. She had a few standard comfort dishes when I was growing up, and one of them was Swedish Meatballs based on a Betty Crocker recipe, probably from the early 50’s. It had been years since I’d eaten them, and last week I felt a yearning for comfort food. Her offer reminded me of the foods I ate when I was young; so, I suggested she make Swedish Turkey Meatballs, with a couple of other changes too —to make them more healthy.

The original recipe called for pork and beef for the meatballs, and sour cream for the gravy. For a healthier version, we changed the recipe by replacing the pork and beef with turkey, and using non-fat milk instead of the sour cream for the gravy. This dish can also be made dairy-free by substituting soy milk for the low-fat milk. I also suggested to Mom that we add a tablespoon of capers to the sauce because the pickled flavor would make a nice contrast with the gravy and turkey. And, according to Dr. Audrey Kunin, expert dermatologist on the Dr. Oz show, capers fight inflammation and support the immune system against free radicals and allergies, thanks to the quercetin flavonoid found in the caper. Capers are great for an anti-inflammation diet!

And a funny thing happened when Mom was rolling the meatballs. I noticed that she was making them a lot bigger than how I remembered them as a child, or from those that you see at potluck parties. When I asked her why she was making them so large she said, “This way you don’t have to make as many.”Huh, I thought. She’s getting smarter as she ages.

Mom loved the changes to the recipe. She says that now, she’ll always make the Swedish Meatballs with turkey; but, she prefers the capers on the side.


Prep Time: 35 minutes:

Total Time:  1 hour

Servings: 6 to 7



2 teaspoons olive oil

1/3 cup minced onion

1-1/4 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, or gluten-free breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon tamari soy

1 egg


For the gravy:

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons unbleached flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or gluten-free flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon capers

2 cups non-fat milk


1)  In a 13-inch skillet, sauté the onion in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. When the onion is transparent take if off the heat and cool for a minute.

2)  Mix together well the sautéed onion, the turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, egg, and the tamari.

3)  Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in the 13-inch inch skillet, and brown the turkey meatballs in the oil over medium-high heat. You should be able to fit all of them in the skillet; if not, you’ll have to brown them in two batches. Be careful not to burn them as you’ll leave the pan sediments for the gravy.

4)  When the turkey meatballs have all been browned, place them on a platter off to the side.

5)  Add the 3 tablespoons of  flour to the oil in the pan along with the salt, nutmeg and the pepper. Use a whisk to incorporate the flour with the oil and the meatball sediments. Whisk the flour and oil for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the milk. Continue to stir for another 2-3 minutes and then add the meatballs back to the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the meatballs from sticking.

6)  Check the seasonings and the capers to the gravy.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with quinoa pilaf (without the pomegrate) or with boiled whole wheat fettucini noodles.




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Other posts you may enjoy  Rainbow Turkey Loaf or Turkey with Cumin for Libido

This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysSimple Lives Thursday, and Hearth and Soul

Turkey Meatballs on Foodista

Recipe: Go Green Turkey Wrap


Go Green Turkey Wrap

Go Green Turkey Wrap

My friend Nina was telling me the other day that it’s hard to eat healthy when another friend always suggests to order food out for lunch. It got me to thinking that I haven’t put any lunch ideas up on the blog yet. Now is the moment. I have two ideas for you today. The first idea is a “Go Green Turkey Wrap.” No, the turkey is not old and green. The turkey wrap is a green idea because you’ll save energy by cooking extra vegetables when you make your dinner, and then you’ll use the leftover vegetables in a sandwich wrap the following day. You’ll also save money and gas by taking your lunch to work, and by doing so, you’ll help your pocketbook and the environment.

The second idea is that you could create a pool with your coworkers, and each day a different person will make lunch for everyone else in the pool. That is, if you trust the hygiene of everyone in the pool. It could be something fun to do and each person could do their best to make interesting healthy lunches. Let me know if you try the lunch pool!


Ingredients: (For 1 person)

Whole-wheat flatbread  (I use flatbread from

2 slices turkey

½ to ¾ cup vegetables  (i.e. Green beans, asparagus, zucchini, grilled onions, roasted bell peppers etc.)

Lettuce – 2 to 3 leaves, washed

Olive oil – 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons

Oregano – 1/4 teaspoon


Lay the flat bread on the counter. Place two slices of turkey on the flatbread and top with the vegetables and the lettuce. Sprinkle with oregano and then drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables. Roll the flatbread up like you would roll up a carpet.

Have a great lunch!


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Related Article: 10 Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

Turkey Breast- صدر الديك الرومي- صدر الحبش on Foodista

Recipe: Rainbow Turkey Loaf

Turkey Loaf

Rainbow Turkey Loaf

My sister has been asking me for a while now to make a healthier version of my grandmother’s meatloaf. I thought about it and came up with something that is much healthier, and to my taste buds, more exciting.

The original recipe uses a mixture of beef and pork and ¾ cup of ketchup. My first thought was to change the meat to turkey, and the second thought was to get rid of the ketchup. In whole foods cooking the idea is to use fresh foods, not bottled or canned. And for inflammation, you want to stay away from red meat and sugar, and bottled ketchup has a lot of added sugar, so out it goes. The celery and onion in the original recipe are good because they add flavor, fiber, and moisture, so I threw in extra onion and celery. I also added a rainbow of vegetables, Swiss chard, red pepper and carrots, for the added nutrients and color.

Turkey Loaf is good and it tastes even better with Red Bell Pepper Sauce. In fact, I think the sauce is just as good as the Turkey loaf. Go ahead and try them together and let me know what you think.

Tip – when chopping the celery, bell peppers and carrot, first cut them into equal size strips and then cut them into small cubes so they will all be about the same size and shape.


1 ½ pounds of turkey

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped  (approximately 1/3 inch)

1/3  cup carrot, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery,

1/2 cup chopped Swiss chard leaf

1/4 cup tapioca

1/2 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs (dry crumbs if soft aren’t available)

1/4 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs

3/4 teaspoon thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt


Pre-heat the oven to 350°, and line an 8 ¼ x 4 ¾ bread pan with tin foil. This will make clean-up simple and it will be easier to turn the loaf out onto a plate.

Mix all the ingredients together well and place them in the pan, and bake the turkey on the middle oven rack for approximately 50 to 60 minutes. The internal cooking temperature should reach 165°.

Slice thinly and serve with Red Bell Pepper sauce.

This dish goes especially well with Sautéed Swiss Chard



This recipe is posted on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Ground Turkey- لحم الديك الرومي المفروم on Foodista

Recipe: Turkey with Cumin for Libido

A few weeks ago on the Dr. Oz show, the Dr. gave us the very good news that Red Bell Peppers are good for wrinkles. Soon following, I gave my recipe for roasted peppers prepared Spanish style. If the good news about peppers wasn’t enough for you, on that same Dr. Oz episode he also told us that cumin is good for libido, if eaten two to three times a week. I’ve received several comments from people telling me that they are eating red bell peppers, and I anticipate that I’ll soon be hearing from people telling me about how cumin is spicing things up. The following is my recipe for turkey with cumin for libido. So, go ahead. Eat up and enjoy.

Turkey Breast with Cumin

Turkey with Cumin for Libido


6 turkey breast filets, pounded to 3/8 thickness (See step one below)

1 ½   tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

½ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon sea salt

7-8 stalks green onion, sliced to ¼ inch thickness

1 ½  tablespoons sesame seeds

2-3 juicy limes, or lemons

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Olive oil


1.) If you cannot find turkey breast filets, buy a half breast weighing 2 ¼ -2 ½ pounds. Use a boning knife to cut the breast off of the breastbone. After you remove the breast from the bone, take the skin off and discard it. Trim the sides of the breast. (You can save the bone and use it later to make a small amount of stock.) Place the breast on the cutting board so the long side is horizontal to you. Look at the meat and visually measure where to make your slices so you will end up with six filets. Slice the breast making long horizontal cuts.

2.) Place the filets on a plate. Wash and dry the cutting board and place plastic on the cutting board. Place one to two fillets on the cutting board. Cover with another sheet of plastic. Pound the turkey with the flat side of a mallet to ¼ inch thickness. Repeat this until you have pounded each slice. Set aside.

3.) Briefly chop together the sesame seeds and the previously chopped green onions. Set aside.

4.) Mix the cumin, coriander, garlic salt and sea salt together in a small bowl, and then rub this mixture into both sides of each turkey filet. Discard any remaining spice.

5.) Put 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil on a flat grill or a flat pan and heat the pan on high level. When the pan and oil are hot enough add the turkey and turn the heat to between medium and medium high. When the edges appear cooked and the meat looks a little juicy on the top, flip the filets over to cook the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes. Cut into one piece to see if is done. You should see white meat color, not pink. If it is pink continue to cook until it is white. You may have to cook the filets in two batches.

To Serve: Place the turkey filets on a serving platter and squeeze lime juice over each piece. Top each filet with the sesame seed and green onion mixture. Top with the tomato garnish. Squeeze more lime juice over the tops.

In the photo the turkey is served with a side of quinoa pilaf.

I posted this recipe at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and realfoodfiestablog

Turkey-ديك رومي-حبش on Foodista